Democratic Senator Kent Conrad told Reuters that extending the payroll tax cut would have “the biggest bang for the buck on economic growth.”
“We need to do something on stimulus as part of the overall fiscal cliff. We have to do something because the economy’s not growing fast enough,” said Charles Schumer, one of the Democratic leaders in the Senate.
Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, told reporters that the payroll tax cut extension needs to be “on the table,” in any discussions over resolving the fiscal cliff.
Republican Senator Rob Portman agreed that the tax cut had to be part of fiscal talks, and Democratic Representative Chris Van Hollen has long said the tax break would help the economy.
The Obama administration has been adamant about not extending the tax break for the third year in a row.
This potential willingness to, or maybe posturing about, extending the tax cut is a departure from previous bipartisan statements to the contrary.